On Thursday, Facebook announced that it had adapted the formula it uses to promote or ignore content in the hope of ridding Facebook spam for good. The changes made are specifically targeted at “like-bait”, where brands request likes in their posts.

Facebook have been trying to clean up their News Feed for a while now, by removing any content they deem to be “low quality”. Now content that gets posted too often will also be removed, as it will qualify as being spammy.

fishy-1 Facebook Cracks Down on Like-Bait – Here’s What You Need to Know

In their announcement, Facebook described “like-bait” as:

“Content that explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive.”

What is Like-Bait?

Examples given included a post from an account called “When your teacher accidentally scrapes her nails on the chalkboard and you’re like whaaaaaat” that featured a kitten, baby rabbit, dolphin and mosquito and asked fans to either like, share, comment or ignore:

 Like-Bait Facebook Cracks Down on Like-Bait – Here’s What You Need to Know

Many media outlets, brands and individuals have used “like-baiting” as part of their strategy, as it is a relatively simple way to create engagements with fans on Facebook. It can be used in competitions to encourage entries or simply to play the system.

What Does This Mean?

Facebook’s new algorithm will crack down on misleading links that lack relevance and punish any offenders by showing less of their content to users. It will also automatically downgrade any content that has been clicked on but not interacted with – this is called “click-bait” as it means the post could have mislead a user into clicking on it, only for them to find it wasn’t relevant.

In theory spam is bad and we should be glad that Facebook is making the effort to clean up the content shared on its network, but with continually increasing competition on newsfeeds, it can often be hard to get your content seen.

Facebook says that there will be no impact on pages that are “genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans”, but how are they going to be able to tell the difference when it comes down to it? This is why it is important to make sure that these changes won’t affect anything your company does.

What Next?

Content should be about quality over quantity, and this move from Facebook will give marketers a clearer focus now when it comes to creating social content. Engagement should happen naturally from quality, authentic brand experiences – this links back to my last post about emotional branding. Developing strong relationships with a smaller audience is better than sending out low quality messages to a huge amount of people that may not care.

Social media is a key part of all digital strategies and this won’t change, now you just need to think about what will drive high levels of engagement in a clean and spam free way. Create high quality content that your fans will like without you having to ask them too, and these changes shouldn’t have any negative affects on your page.

So go on, hit the “like” button on this post!!

Just kidding!